It’s no secret that plastic water bottles are a detriment to the environment — Americans alone use approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles each year, only 23% of which are recycled. Thus, an additional 38 billion plastic bottles begin a centuries-long decomposition journey annually.
What if we could replace those plastic bottles with something more environmentally friendly — edible, even?
Enter Ooho!, a completely biodegradable water “bottle” that eschews plastic packaging altogether for a biodegradable seaweed- and calcium chloride-based membrane that is safe for human consumption. Vaguely reminiscent of a silicone implant, Ooho! is essentially an edible water balloon. When you’re ready to hydrate, you simply pierce the membrane and slurp away:
To create the bottles, spheres of ice are treated with a liquid form of the seaweed-derived membrane. When the membrane solidifies and the water melts, a portable, eco-friendly serving of packaged water remains. Each orb costs only 2 cents to construct.
“The most clear inspiration is the way nature encapsulate liquids using membranes. Made of lipids and proteins, the membrane enclose, limit and give a shape, keeping the balance between the interior and the exterior,” the product’s designers write.
Ooho! is the brainchild of London-based Skipping Rocks Lab, which just received a sizable sustainability grant from the European Union to hopefully introduce its novel concept on a large scale. The product also won the Lexus Design Award last year.